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Light Writing with Photoshop

DSLR cameras are fantastic, you can do some great things with them – one of my favourite effects are slow shutter speed photos with cool light trails. These have recently been used in the TalkTalk adverts.

I’m going to show you an easy way to create these using Layer Styles.

 Step 1 – open Photoshop – amazing huh!  – and make a new document. I used 1024×768, but any size will do. Set or fill (shift & F5) the background colour to black:

Step 2 – Next draw something – I wrote my name but you can do anything. Use a small hard edge brush. I Named this layer Text

Step 3 – Press the small fx button at the bottom of the layer palette and set the layer styles to the following:

Step 4 – Duplicate the Text layer and drag it below the original Text Layer. Name this Layer Text Moved.

Step 5 – select the move tool from the tool bar and move the Text Moved layer slightly up and to the right, next reduce the opacity to 52%:

Step 6 – create a gradient fill layer at the top of your Layer stack (Layer > New Fill Layer > Gradient) and choose the spectrum gradient. Set the angle to -39 degrees and style linear. Click okay and set the blending mode to soft light:

That’s about it – you can change the colours in the layer styles if you want.




About Simon Rudd (51 Articles)
Simon Rudd is a freelance writer and artist specialising in Photoshop tutorials as well as Horror, the Macabre and Fantasy themed pictures. He frequently writes for magazines and websites.

4 Comments on Light Writing with Photoshop

  1. Awesome tut’!

    I’m always trying to make some differents works on photoshop!

    That’s is cool!
    Thank you!

  2. is it possible to teach how to do this with cs3? its kinda the same up to the gradient layer.

  3. also, could you be more specific? like, is there a certain size brush hat should be used for maximum effect?

  4. Rob – You can use any brush size for the writing – i used a small brush around the 6 pixel size 😀 this was made in cs5 – but its the same set up with cs3 😀

    Helinton – thanks 😀 glad you liked it!

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